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TLOBF Interview // MJ Cole

TLOBF Interview // MJ Cole

30 October 2010, 11:53
Words by Adrian Mules

MJ Cole (aka Matt Coleman) was a pioneer of the UK electronic scene and is still producing exciting music today. His latest single ‘From The Drop’ features some exquisite beats overlayed by a blistering vocal from Wiley. Adrian Mules caught up with Matt to find out what keeps him producing such great music.

Hi Matt, thanks for chatting to us today, how’s tricks?

I’m really good. Looking forward to the Wiley release.

Great, You’ve teamed with him for your new single ‘From The Drop’ – how did the two of you come to work together?

We finally met at YOYO in London at the start of the summer. We exchanged digits and the music followed.

He’s quite vocal about his label difficulties on the track, are things sorted for him now?

I’m not ever too sure. We’ve agreed that ‘From the Drop’ will be part of his forthcoming album though, so all is looking good.

With a background in classical music and time spent at the Royal College of Music was there an event or an epiphany that lead to a change of direction into electronic music?

I didn’t ever really change direction. I just began to look at the music I was dancing to at the weekend in a more career minded way. I was lucky enough to be there at the beginning of Dance music in the UK and managed to use my Classical skills in the studio.

From being there at the beginning to now what innovations have allowed you to be creative without being held back by technical constraints?

I’m a studio junkie. Any new piece of kit or software can inspire me to move in a different direction. The advent of Soft Synths was an eye opener for me as there was so much instantly available without taking up space in the studio.

What about the growth of the internet, how has that changed things for you?

I’m a big fan of what the net has done for music. It’s really spread the genres and made much more music instantly available. I’m really into sites like Soundcloud which allow you to listen to other peoples music without all the social networking rubbish.

So do you think the UK electronic music scene is in a good state at the moment?

Most definitely. It feels better to me than it has done for the last decade. Musicians are crossing boundaries without fear and technically so much more is possible. It’s still as hard to make a great record though.

Who are you currently you into?

Jamie Woon & James Blake.

What influences you to write?

Anything and everything My ears are always open. It can be a sound on TV, track coming from a car stereo or the sound of a tin of beans opening.

So when writing do you have a set sound in your head or do you experiment and keep what you like?

I used to rely on experimentation much more than I do now. These days I tend to have an idea of the soundworld I’ll be in and open think of beats before attempting to put them down.

If you could remix any track in the history of musical endeavours what would you chose and what would you do with it?

John Cage 4’33″ – nothing

What was the first record you chose and bought for yourself?

Think that was David Bowie “Let’s Dance” – Bought it from a 7″ shop in Kensington Market.

What one item would you save if your house was on fire?

My wife

What were your nicknames at school and why?

“Mustard” due to the Coleman thing. No one got away with much more than that.

There isn’t much of 2010 left, but what are your plans for the rest of the year?

After the Wiley record I have another EP of deeper instrumental underground stuff planned. Working on remixes for Jamie Woon and Danny Byrd also.

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